Minnesota Adult Hunter Safety Course


Steps to Clean a Firearm

Step 1

Attach a cleaning brush that is the same size as the caliber or gauge of your firearm onto a cleaning rod. Pour a small amount of cleaning solution into an open container, such as a film canister, and dip the brush into the cleaning solution. Dipping the brush directly into the bottle of cleaning solution will contaminate the entire supply. 


Step 2

Place the cleaning rod with a brush attached into the bore and work the brush down the entire length of the barrel. 


Step 3

Remove the cleaning brush from the cleaning rod and attach the slotted patch holder onto the cleaning rod. Attach a clean patch onto the slotted patch holder and run the patch down the entire length of the barrel. Next, use the bore light to inspect the action and bore. If you spot any more residue, use another patch until it's completely clean. 


Step 4

Attach a clean, well-oiled patch onto the slotted patch holder and run it down the entire length of the barrel. The oil will prevent rust in the barrel. Your barrel in now clean!


Step 5

Use a copper cleaning brush and work it around the bolt, bolt face and action to remove any powder residue. Wipe the bolt and action clean and apply a thin coat of oil. 


Step 6

Wipe down the entire firearm with a lightly oiled rag to clean and protect the outside surface. 


Alternative Ways to Clean Your Firearm

If the firearm has interchangeable barrels, remove the barrel and clean as previously indicated. If the firearm cannot be cleaned from the breech as with the lever-action firearm, you will have to clean it from the muzzle end. You can place a patch or a thin cloth in the action so that residue does not fall into the trigger and safety assemblies.


Professional Repair By a Gunsmith

While cleaning a firearm, be sure to inspect it for loose screws or any signs of damage. If the firearm has been damaged or is not working properly, take it to a qualified gunsmith for inspection and repair if needed.